The Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) brought the traditional beef stew -- some 1,000 lbs. of it -- back to the Boston Marathon.

While manning a beef checkoff-funded booth April 16-17 at the world's most famous marathon, NEBPI, a collaborative group of Northeast state beef councils, sponsors and volunteers served 8,000 samples of Provencal Beef Stew to race spectators. A bowl of beef stew historically was part of finishing the 26.2-mile race since it began in 1897. Over the past 110 years, as race entries grew from a few dozen to 20,000+, the stew went only to the winners.

"We really had great exposure because the Boston Marathon is a world-class event. Our booth was only about 100 yards from the finish line so we had lots of samplers and rave reviews," said Allison Wenther, director of NEBPI retail marketing and public relations.

The beef industry event had its own representative runner, Brian Briner, a veteran marathoner and veal producer from Wisconsin. Briner ran in a shirt sporting the "Beef. It's What's for Dinner/Veal. Eat Smart, Eat Well." tag lines and said he heard encouraging shouts of "Go beef!" from the 200,000 spectators lining the course. His first meal after the race was a beef filet. -- Cattlemen's Beef Board release